By Kate Levy, Head of High School English, East Campus
This year’s Writers’ Fortnight - an annual event that takes place during High School English lessons in late January - gave our Grade 9s, G10FIBs and Grade 11s much to think about.
All three year groups got to spend time with this year’s writer-in-residence, Malaysian author Hanna Alkaf. The students learnt about her experiences as an author who tackles racial conflict, mental illness and the representation of minority groups in literature through her fiction.
“Bold and brave” and “unapologetically outspoken” are just some of the comments students made after meeting Hanna, whilst another commented on the importance, inspiration even, of “getting to meet and hear the story of a female, Muslim author.”
Insights from the Experts
With compelling and responsible storytelling being the main learning aim, the Grade 9 and FIBs undertook a journalism assignment, with the help of ten journalists and professional writers from within and outside the school community. They each visited a class to give advice about how to interview people, find a story angle, and write an engaging feature article.
Borrowing from our Human Library
Equally generous with their time and experience were the twenty-three guest speakers who participated in our Human Library carousel sessions. Parents, staff, and even people from outside UWCSEA, agreed to share their extraordinary personal and professional stories with our students, who each signed up to meet and interview four of the speakers. Hearing of tragedy and survival, triumph and awakening, many students felt inspired to tell the life-changing stories of the people they met for their journalism assignment. But many students found other topics of personal interest and importance, resulting in a remarkable range of articles.
Here you will find the feature articles and op-eds produced by our G9 and FIB students. Whilst the breadth of topics is impressive, it is quite fascinating to see just how many are concerned with issues of social inclusion, mental health and environmental sustainability.
We hope you enjoy the outcomesof Writers’ Fortnight!
A huge thank you to the many members of this community who volunteered their time, expertise and experience to support Writers’ Fortnight and the learning of our students